Once again Portsmouth provided excellent weather for the County champs, with Robbie racing in the 3000m on Saturday and the 1500m on Sunday, now running bottom year U17’s and up against fellow AFD runners Jack Boswell and Jake Cvetkovic. Heading to Portsmouth on Saturday for the 3000m, with a list of runners we were hoping that Robbie would actually medal behind Jack and Jake, but via the magic of mobile technology Robbie’s chances of a medal improved when Jake notified him that he was injured and wouldn’t be attending. A great shame for Jake, but as mentioned a boost in possibilities for Robbie. That said, it wasn’t to be. The race was run as a combined U17/U20 race and two battles were thought from the start, with Jack Boswell battling Thomas MacSwayne for first place (despite them being in different races) and in the same manner Robbie battled Philip Maguire for 3rd, a frustrating time for Robbie as Philip seemed intent on being in front, but not intent at maintaining the pace. A hopscotch process began, with Robbie overtaking and leading for 100m, then Philip overtaking and slowing the pace down, forcing Robbie to drop off and go round to bring the pace back up. This happened at least 5 times, and was ultimately detrimental to both athletes, but mostly to Robbie as Edward Mason and Sam Metcalf took advantage of the tussle to storm past and take 2nd and 3rd place in the U17’s.
Saturday, was disappointing, but ultimately was not the most disappointing day of the weekend. The 1500m on Sunday was practically 2 races, although all U17’s. Sam Maher led from the off, running at a tremendous pace, with Jack Boswell giving chase, only to start suffering and slowing as his knee problems returned, the second race saw Robbie leading a peloton of runners around the track, once again, out front, doing all the work, and just not having the confidence to push the pace. Fellow AFD athlete Sean Pocknee slipstreamed the group for the whole 1500m, kicking in to a flying sprint on the finishing straight to take 5th place in a PB time of 4:19:92.
3000m U17’s (Down to Robbie, there were runners behind him)
1: Jack Boswell (AFD) – 8:56.11
2: Ed Mason (Guernsey) – 9:08.37
3: Sam Metcalf (Isle of Wight) – 9:16.91
4: Robbie Coupland (AFD) – 9:18.32
1500m U17’s (Down to Robbie, there were runners behind him)
1: Samuel Maher (Jersey) – 4:01.3
2: Luke Powell (Southampton) – 4:11.5
3: Toby Roe (City of Portsmouth) – 4:18.2
4: Michael Ilott (Isle of Wight) – 4:19.3
5: Sean Pocknee (AFD) – 4:19.9
6: Jack Boswell (AFD) – 4:20.4
7: William Brown (Jersey) – 4:21.6
8: Robbie Coupland (AFD) – 4:22.6